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Global Citrus Market Faces Sluggish Demand, Sustained Price Decline

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Mixed citrus

Since the beginning of 2024, along with the increase in regional production or input, the combined decline in consumer demand has led to a decline in global fresh orange market prices to varying degrees. Prices in America, where production has fallen only partly, are relatively firm, but consumption also tends to be smaller; In the European market, under the impact of low-price competitive products in third countries and protectionism in the region, the local sweet orange market price has dropped sharply. During the same period, the settlement price of the global orange juice futures contract was only high and volatile. With the intensification of international geopolitical conflicts, the foreign trade radius of the main producing country is shortened, and the prices of the three major consumer markets of fresh oranges in the world may continue to fall.

In the Asian market, consumer demand in Southeast Asia is low, and the citrus market sales are lagging.

In February, the “Citrus Forecast Report” released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Statistics Bureau showed that abnormal weather made the 2023/2024 Florida non-juiced orange production lower to 277,600 tons, down 9.33% from the forecast result in January 2024, and still up 10.57% from the previous year. Frequent rain will increase the diameter of the hanging fruit, and the supply of small fruit will be more short. International information shows that the increase in the export of fresh sweet oranges from Mexico’s small fruit path has promoted the early harvest of sweet oranges in the United States and is expected to end sales early. Overall, following the increase in fresh orange supply, consumer demand is stable and weak, so the domestic sweet orange market price in the United States may weaken. In addition, the United States is scheduled to import Morocco’s small fruit sweet oranges, so market prices will also be weak.

In the European market, the Red Sea crisis has made the cost of exporting Egyptian sweet oranges to South Asia, Southeast Asia, and other regions rise, and more Egyptian oranges have entered the EU market. During the same period, low-priced Turkish sweet oranges occupied the Central and Eastern European markets. Together, the two have a great impact on the local sweet orange market in the European Union. According to the official data of the European Commission, in January, the EU imported 51,700 tons of sweet oranges, up 283.66% from the previous month, and up 82.56% year-on-year. Among them, the import of Egypt’s sweet oranges was 45,300 tons, an increase of 107.02%; It accounted for 87.61% of the total imports in the month, up 10.35 percentage points year-on-year. Imports of Turkish sweet oranges were 0.35 million tons, which was equivalent to the monthly average in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The Spanish sweet orange re-export trade also caused French farmers to be dissatisfied with the sweet orange export transport line, leading the French government to strengthen plant quarantine measures. It is understood that the CIF of graded Egyptian sweet oranges is near 0.45 euros/kg, and the wholesale price of imported Turkish sweet oranges is a quarter lower than that of local Spanish sweet oranges, resulting in a 40% reduction in the purchase price of Spanish sweet oranges. During the same period, the demand for Italian blood oranges was strong in France and Germany, and the market price was relatively strong. Overall, it is estimated that the market price of fresh oranges in the EU will fall by 30% in January-February 2024, and the price will also turn from an increase to a decline year-on-year. With the intensification of international geopolitical conflicts, the oversupply situation is difficult to change in the short term, and it is expected that the market price of fresh oranges in the EU will continue to decline.

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